United Process Controls (UPC) completed a turnkey project for Baldor Electric to upgrade furnace controls and automate heat-treat operations at the company’s Greenville, S.C., plant. To optimize and centralize control, UPC scrapped the old control consoles and replaced them with compact, state-of-the-art control systems based on the Protherm 600 programmable controllers for monitoring and controlling all furnace process parameters. The scope of the control upgrade also included PLCs, VRT controls, supervisory flame pilots, SCR heater controllers and Waukee’s AccuBlendor™ endothermic generator systems with turndown control for just-in-time delivery of mixed gases.

All controllers and control systems are interfaced with Protherm 9800 production management software, which performs data acquisition, data analysis, alarms and recipe management, and monitoring. The Protherm 9800 also allows live, real-time remote viewing and control of furnace control systems, and it incorporates modules for laboratory documentation and process design. The Diffusion Module provides two-part functionality. First, it takes the complexities out of the creation, modeling and optimization of carburizing processes. Second, it can execute and control a carburizing treatment in a fully automatic self-correcting mode.